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Klout Consulting

Author name: Rony

How to Drive Affiliate Sales and Build a UGC Machine with Brand Ambassadors

We recently had a chat with Alan VanToai, the Co-Founder of CrewFire to discuss how ecommerce brands can utilize brand ambassador programs and grow with user generated content. In case you haven’t heard of them, CrewFire is a brand ambassador platform and marketing tool that’s helping ecommerce companies streamline their ambassador program and generate amazing results.  In this interview, we discuss: What brands are suitable for a brand ambassador program Strategies you can implement today if you don’t have an ambassador program How you can boost your existing ambassador program Interested in taking your ambassador program to the next level or want to learn more about CrewFire? Head over to CrewFire or book a demo call.  Brand Ambassadors: What Do They Do and How Can They Help? Brand ambassadors are essentially your customers, or fans, who can help grow your brand in exchange for rewards. Your brand ambassadors can help with a variety of activities, from sharing referral links, coupon codes, user-generated content (UGC), and branded content to engaging with your brand on social media. Brand ambassadors typically earn affiliate commissions from the sales they help you drive. I Already Have An Ambassador Program, Why Should I Consider CrewFire? If you already have a community, affiliate or rewards program, it’s likely that you and your team are spending a lot of time managing multiple platforms. Whether it’s an email list, affiliate software, spreadsheets or some combination of these tools, we know that it can be extremely inefficient and hard to scale. Instead of using 5-6 different tools, your entire ambassador program can be streamlined into 1 single platform with CrewFire. This means that your team can save up to 10-15 hours per week while driving more referral sales, engagement and user generated content (which is better than sex for ecom brands!). Brands that are spending only $1-3K per month on their CrewFire programs are generating $30-50K per month in sales, but are also collecting thousands of pieces of UGC. How Does CrewFire Work? CrewFire makes it easy for you to reward ambassadors when they help grow your brand. It’s a win-win experience for both brands and ambassadors. For Brands Have a clear dashboard where you can track performance and a CRM-like feature to manage/contact ambassadors. Ability to notify your ambassadors via text message/SMS when new campaigns are available. This has been proven to drive higher retention for the program. For Ambassadors Get access to a private community and social platform. Ambassadors can participate in content activities and receive exclusive rewards. A fun and engaging way to be involved with brands they love. Who Should Utilize a Brand Ambassador Program/CrewFire? Brands that see success with brand ambassador programs typically: Generate at least $1 million in annual revenue (approximately $83K per month) Sell consumer products that are popular on Instagram. For example, beauty, health & wellness, and fashion products. Have an emotional connection with their audience and resonate with people on an identity level – whether it’s through the product’s results, social mission, founder’s story, etc. Have a clear brand voice that ambassadors are aligning with. Don’t fit in the criteria above? No worries! If you have a budding community and want to implement strategies to grow your community, hop on a call with us here and we can help you out. What Are Some Strategies We Can Implement? Strategy #1: Bring ambassadors together in a community Give your fans a chance to engage with individuals like themselves and connect as a community. Alternatively to CrewFire, you can bring people together through a Facebook group, Discourse plugin, or any other message board app for your website. Strategy #2: Drive referrals with word of mouth With CrewFire, there is a referral and coupon code system built in but alternatively, you can check out tools like Referral Candy, Refersion, etc. You want to give your customers referral links and coupon codes, so that they have an incentive to refer their friends and share it on their social media channels.  Strategy #3: Get ambassadors to create user generated content (UGC) You can start crowdsourcing UGC by asking your customers to leave reviews, create testimonials, take photos and videos of them using your product, and more. Once you collect some UGC, start using this content in your ads and on your website. UGC is more cost effective than a high-gloss production and it’s extremely effective. The goal is to show your customers that your brand is more than just a product, it’s a movement. How You Can Improve Your Current Brand Ambassador Campaign An interesting piece of insight that Alan shared about CrewFire’s partner brands, Tally Weijl, is to create new UGC campaigns every month. Giving your ambassadors a theme or framework can actually Keep things exciting, fresh and fun for your ambassadors. Encourage ambassadors to create fun and creative content, rather than just asking them to share their code. What does the execution look like? Tell your ambassadors that for this month, you want them to create the most unique content around a specific theme (for example: a new fall collection). Come up with a new theme for the next month and repeat. Remember that your ambassadors are creators – give them creative boundaries to work within and watch the high-quality and engaging content flow in! Final Words of Advice Think of your brand ambassadors as a division within your organization. Ambassador programs are not the same as your paid social ads or influencer marketing, where you can constantly test and change your messaging. Trying to make too many changes with your ambassador program is like trying to turn a crew ship, rather than a rowboat. The bottom line: make sure your company is truly ready (and is a good fit) for an ambassador program before you invest the time and energy into it. Ready to turn your customers into your army of brand ambassadors? Book a demo with CrewFire here. Brands Mentioned: CrewFire: https://www.crewfire.com/ Vitae Apparel: https://vitaeapparel.com/ Tally Weijl: https://www.tally-weijl.com/

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Rich and Clear

Impact Marketing #42 – Explode Organic Growth With A Paid Ad Strategy

Who is Rich and Clear A skin care company focused on the African American community as its main target market. They have affordable skin care products that actually work. Before Klout brought them on board, the owner, Ernest, had built up a following of more than 500K followers on Instagram. The business was successful and sustainable, without having run a single ad. Why paid ads? Earnest was looking to take his business to the next level with paid ads. This is an ideal situation for Klout (and any marketing company). When a business is already established and successful organically, using paid ads is like pouring gas on an already serious fire. How did we get started? One of the issues about starting with a client like this, however, is a potential lack of data. In the case of Rich and Clear, there was data from Instagram in terms of followers, likes, etc. but nothing from ads on Facebook or Google. However, the company had a ton of data from Shopify that we were able to tap into to build out our first ad sets. Is email dead? We’ve said this a number of times on the show, but it’s worth repeating. Email data is absolute gold. Still. Not only for email marketing (we get to that in a bit), but also for building out campaigns, audiences, and more. As Rony Hay says, “Email is print money.” We ALWAYS recommend building an email list as soon as you start your business. Even a small number (e.g. less than 100) can be powerful data for marketing. Google vs. Facebook Ecosystems You want to make sure the company is represented on both major ecosystems for brand legitimacy. People will search for your brand after seeing your ads, or your products. You need to be present in both Google search and Facebook to build trust. The second reason is to be able to retarget ads across both system. Key problems with Rich and Clear before Klout The company had a very common problem that we see when we bring a client on board: the Facebook Business Manager was suspended and we had to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up the account before we could kick off our campaigns. The company’s facebook page was also suspended, further complicating things. The Klout Solution Because Facebook was essentially dead when Rich and Clear came on board, we focused on Instagram campaigns to build up the account initially. After we cleared and re-opened Facebook, we launched campaigns there as well. In addition, we built out email campaigns and automations to take advantage of all the massive amount of data Earnest already had in order to start increasing customer lifetime value. A huge issue with this was that all emails were going to spam for past customers. So we very carefully rebuilt the list responsiveness by using text-only emails initally and then slowly re-introducing images and other CTAs. Critical Learning If you have an email open rate that is less than 10%, you have trained your list to believe that you’re always promoting and as such, your emails have a very limited perceived value. You should take action immediately to change this. In order to do this, you should produce community relevant content that does NOT promote. SMS Marketing There is a future opportunity to build out SMS marketing for Rich and Clear. We’re not there yet (because we build out one thing at a time). However, SMS is a great different channel to use because of the high engagement rate. If you can get people’s phone numbers they are gold for future marketing. Ninety day results with Klout The business was averaging about $100K in revenue when we brought them on board. While we actually started somewhat conservative in our campaigns, 90 days into the client relationship, the company is now breaking $200K per month. Email revenue has gone from 1-2% to 19-20% of monthly top line. Watch The Full Episode of Impact Marketer This case study comes from Impact Marketer episode #042 Listen To The Podcast

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Impact Marketer #41 – From Wholesale to D2C with Style Reform

Who is Style Reform Style Reform is a small but mighty, woman owned, athliesure brand. They’ve been around for a few years, and we brought them on board in Klout about 90 days ago (at the time of this post). The interesting business case with Style Reform is that they are a wholesaler pivoting to D2C and that’s where our paid ads strategy is focused. How did the JLo post happen? Style Reform has benefited from an unexpected photo of Jennifer Lopez (yes, the JLo) in Style Reform leggings. It turns out the JLo was introduced to the brand by her trainer, loved them and became a loyal customer. This is the type of organic sweetness that all brands would love to get and its really helped Style Reform grow. Onboarding Style Reform This was a tough (in a good way) client to onboard because the owner (Christy Teloh) knows her business in and out and grilled our team on basically every aspect of what we do and how we do it. The key “ah ha” came recognizing the gap that Christy had built a great wholesale company, but didn’t have any marketing in the mix. This is where Klout came in to tie it all together Difference between Sales and Marketing Marketing is important because sales only happen after people understand your value proposition: that is the problem you propose to solve for them and how your product or service solves it. This is what marketing and branding are all about. Its how you create awareness and differentiate yourself from other brands and products Sales is the techniques you use to close a deal with a customer. This is everything from a simple “buy now” button to all the complexity behind a consultative sales funnel process. How did we get started with Style Reform? Even though Style Reform was an established wholeseller, they needed to start from the beginning with D2C. So we implemented our “essential” campaigns – prospecting, retargeting and remarketing. One of the most critical features that our process brings is consistentcy across ad management – this is a critical factor in success. Bidding strategies: Lowest costs vs Cost Cap campaigns Lowest cost bidding: you’re telling FB to make as many purchase as possible within the limit of daily spend. But you don’t tell Facebook what you want to pay for each conversion, so it varies (usually quite widely) Cost Cap: you’re telling Facebook to find the largest volume of purchase for a set cost per purchase. This gives you much more control about how facebook spends your ad money. The key point here – with Cost Cap, you’re able to sale your business with your bidding price (the amount you’re willing to spend per purchase) and not rely your overall budget allotment. Critical points: you should always use lowest cost when you’re starting out a new business, new product or new campaign. However, once you have data and learning from the campaign and ad sets, you can switch to Cost Cap to scale more rapidly and predictably. Going from Wholesale to D2C How has the change form wholesale to D2C changed the fundamentals for Style Reform? We’ve maintained her wholesale business while increasing her D2C revenue dramatically. The challenges to move forward and continue to grow: Order fulfillment Business process and automation Lessons Learned Never judge a company or client until you’ve peeled the onion and worked with them. There was some doubt about how this brand would work internally, but happily we’ve discovered that our process is a great fit and its been a win for everyone. We’re excited to add this “sector” of businesses (wholesale to D2C) to our porfolio going forward! Watch The Full Episode of Impact Marketer This case study comes from Impact Marketer episode #041 Listen To The Podcast

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Obega Beauty

Impact Marketer #40 – Generating CLTV with Obega Beauty

Personally, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to win the lottery. The idea of picking the winning numbers and having an extraordinary large amount of cash appear in your bank overnight is a pipe dream we’ve all had, at least once or twice. Unfortunately, this is also how many of us formulate expectations for our business and, more specifically, the role that paid ads will have in meeting those expectations. Said another way, there is a common perception that simply running ads will result in huge commercial success. The truth of the matter is that ads are a (usually) critical component in a solid overall business strategy that seeks to build a robust Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). This post is how we helped Obega Beauty to put that component in place, and where the company needs to go from here to realize their greater vision of success. About Obega Beauty Obega Beauty is a classic drop shipping company. When we met them, the founders of the company had found a winning product (support bras for women), but needed help with both overall strategy and nuts-and-bolts marketing for that product Is Drop Shipping Dead? Dropping shipping has been around for, literally, forever. It is a tried and true eCommerce play and it’s here to stay. Success in drop shipping comes from realizing that you’re building a business, as opposed to finding a product that “works” that you can juice online for a quick profit – as with all great businesses, you have to be product and customer focused. Where Was OB When They Met Klout? When we brought OB on board, they were essentially breaking even. They were spending a lot of money on testing ads and ads sets. When they came on board, we used all of that test data to pick winners, create structure and make money What’s The Reality Around Ad Testing? We’ve round that, many people start an eCommerce business with one or two products. They then try to get tips from YouTubers about how to grow the business with ads and think it will work. Ultimately, we’ve found that the problem is that these types of videos are made for the masses and, as such, have either limited or completely flawed strategies whose value erode quickly. Is There Danger In Being A One-product Company? Every business has to start somewhere. But once you’ve created, or found, a product that works, the most important consideration is determining how you’re going to maximize Customer Lifetime Value. As examples: Will you have the option of future sales of the same product (e.g. anything consumable)? Are there opportunities to cross-sell other products (e.g. socks for shoes)? Are there ways you can bundle the product to sell more (e.g. 3 for 1 deals)? With OB, because they are selling bras, there could be a longer term play with the right vision about growing CLTV. Klout’s Approach To Solving The Problem When they came on board, OB had a lot of “look alike testing” in their ad sets. They were breaking out their custom audiences too narrow and niche. We restructured their ad targeting by first building out an audience with past purchasers, then layering in people with back pain and then finally people interested in bras. Can You Just Create A Winning Ad Set Then Set It And Forget It? The short answer is, no. As a business owners, you can’t just focus on your ads, you also need to look at your shop. As a part of our service we also look at our client’s stores to create as frictionless process as possible. In this case, we had OB, add PayPal pay, change how add to cart works and a bunch of other tweaks. Other ways to create a frictionless sales process include removing as many steps as possible, split testing, adding bundling options and a “buy now” (rather than “add to cart”). The key is to remember that people who come to your site are sheep… you need ot keep guiding them to the end goal of purchasing Client Communication Is Critical As with all relationships, you have to continue to work at them. in the Case of OB, we found that communicating about goals was super critical. For example, when your strategy is to buy into a market to scale your business, the more that you buy in the more costly it gets (this is the law of diminishing returns). Thus, one key understanding for all companies is that there should be ebbs and flows as a company grows: spend to grow, then stop and consolidate for profit & growth of war chest. Klout Results for Obega Beauty We increased Month over month sales by 30%, tripled spend and improved efficiencies by 100% (increase their ROAS from 1 to better than 2). Critical Takeaway From This Experience There is a difference between being a “drop shipper” and a “business owner.” Typically drop shippers want more, yesterday, and are only focused on short term wins and flips. If you have the ability to be a “business owner,” and make decisions on a longer term time horizon. You can focus on CLTV and you’ll always be able to out spend and out compete anyone. Watch The Full Episode of Impact Marketer This case study comes from Impact Marketer episode #040 Listen To The Podcast

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Artizara Cover Art

Impact Marketer #39 – Scaling Artizara.com With New Customers

Plateaus are a fairly common occurrence in almost every aspect of our lives, and something almost all of us have experienced at one time or another. You know what I’m talking about: hitting that limit in your exercise routine where you just can’t get to the next level; wondering how to continue to advance in a career that seems to have stalled out; noticing that you’ve arrived at a place in a relationship where you move up or move on. The same thing happens for businesses. Initial ideas turn into small ventures. Small ventures grow into thriving businesses. Thriving businesses evolve into robust enterprises. But along the way, there are multiple moments when the business will appear to have plateaued – and something new needs to be done to continue to grow and scale. This is exactly what happened to Sarah, the founder of Artizara.com. And this post is about how we helped her to break through her plateau, into a new level of business success. About Artizara Artizara.com is a niche modest muslim fashion brand. Using their words, Artizara creates fashion that provides a “heritage inspired lifestyle.” Sarah, who founded the company in 2002, has been very successful in building a trusted brand. She had a robust business and a community that loved what she produced. Core business problem But this was also Sarah’s main business problem. She found herself at a plateau – with sales happening regularly, but with the same customers. Her returning customer rate was huge ( > 40%) and she was having difficultly growing beyond this base to bring her styles and designed to an even larger community of customers. When we met Sarah, Atrizara.com was doing “ok.” They were doing around $17,000 USD in top line revenue and receiving slightly better than a 2X ROAS (for this sector – fashion – we usually expect a performance of 3-6 ROAS). More importantly, when we looked at lifetime performance, ROAS dropped to 1.5X and they only had a few decently performing prospecting and remarking campaigns. Previous Agencies It wasn’t like Sarah wasn’t trying to grow. She had tried content marketing, SEO, setting up an Amazon store and much more. She had also worked with a number of other marketing agencies. Prior to joining Klout, Artizara was working with an agency that, on the surface, looked like it was performing well. However, marketing reports can be similar to accounting reports. It all depends on what you’re looking at and focusing on. In the case of the former agency, the ROAS & revenue looked good, but they weren’t driving new customer acquisition and growth. They focused on their data from remarketing, rather than looking at new customer acquisition data. Problem Diagnosis When Artizara came on board with Klout, we performed a complete review of her existing ad account – beyond the standard past quarter, to look at lifetime performance as well. We found two critical problems: The ad account lacked structure and consistency Targeting was incredibly narrow Why structure is important The structure of an ad account is very important across campaigns, ad sets and ads. It is a lot like building a physical structure – if you don’t build things correctly in the foundation, you can’t expect the rest of the building to stand. Why niche targeting limits growth Marketing 101 alway seems to start with “finding your passion” and then “picking your niche” that you will serve with a product or service line. In terms of defining your business goals, this is fantastic. However, when it comes to achieving growth with paid ads, this strategy only limits your success. It is critical to understand how the Facebook algorithm works. You need to initially feed the system a ton of data, which comes from using a bigger audience. Once Facebook has used this larger audience to learn and understand your avatar, and ultimately whom to target with your ads, then you can consider further tweaking and optimizing for results. Klout’s Solution Our approach to helping Artizara grow included solving both of the fundamental issues above. In our diagnosis, we found that none of Artizara’s campaigns were uniform across the board. For example: the attribution or conversion window for any business should always be 7-day click + one day view, and this should be implemented consistently across all campaigns, ad sets and ads. One of our first moves was to rebuild, restructure and relaunch all campaigns. In terms of targeting, we found that Artizara’s campaigns were targeted much too narrow in order to grow beyond their current $17K revenue plateau by expanding their customer base. For example, in one campaign, they were targeting 1%, or about 130,000 people. While this number seems fairly large to you and I as humans, to Facebook – with a base of 3 billion users, this is nothing. FB recommends an audience size of at least 2 Million. Turnaround for results We were happy to report to Sarah that, for Artizara, the restructured campaigns began to see results in less than one week. As you’d expect, every client prefers to have an immediate turnaround and results for their business. The reality is that it takes time and every account is unique. Why did things happen so quickly for Sarah? Her business had already done most of the work through a long history, high quality brand & products and a well managed storefront. What results should you expect from your agency? The results you should expect depend, first and foremost, on the goals you have for your company: Are you seeking to grow top line revenue? Do you want new customers? Are you introducing a new product or line? The goal you seek to achieve will directly impact the type of campaigns and results you’ll be able to achieve. The most important thing to remember is that you need to work with your agency to create a plan together with clear actions and milestones and then monitoring and adjusting accordingly. Watch The Full

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impact marketer 38

Impact Marketer #38 – Anthony Blatner On Dominating LinkedIn Ads To Never Worry About B2B Leads Again

In today’s full-length episode of Impact Marketer, we’re interviewing Anthony Blatner. Anthony is an ex-IBMer, tech founder, and digital entrepreneur. He’s managed over $5 million in ad spend and has been able to generate over 165,000 sales opportunities for his clients. He’s also completed 4 marathons and an ultra marathon in the last year. He’s been committed to being the best there is at LinkedIn Ads becoming the go-to authority in the space. On this episode, you’ll learn: The One Area Of Your Funnel LinkedIn Ads Are PERFECT For LinkedIn VS Facebook Ads: Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake The Laser Accurate Targeting Strategies To Reach Your Audience On LinkedIn Connect with Anthony Blatner: Blog: ModernMedia.io Email: Anthony@modernmedia.io https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonyblatner

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Impact Marketer 37

Impact Marketer #37 – How To Go From A 9to5 At IBM To Running A LinkedIn Ads Agency

In today’s Talk Of The Day episode of Impact Marketer, we’re interviewing Anthony Blatner. Anthony is an ex-IBMer, tech founder, and digital entrepreneur. He’s managed over $5 million in ad spend and has been able to generate over 165,000 sales opportunities for his clients. He’s also completed 4 marathons and an ultra marathon in the last year. He’s been committed to being the best there is at LinkedIn Ads becoming the go-to authority in the space. On this episode, you’ll learn: How To Use Freelancing To Find True Fulfillment In Your Work How To Avoid Analysis Paralysis To Create Long Term Momentum Connect with Anthony Blatner: Blog: ModernMedia.io Email: Anthony@modernmedia.io https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonyblatner

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Impact Marketer #036 Automating Your Sales Pipeline To Sell More B2B Services Than You Can Handle

In this episode, Rony shares his experience of growing Klout Consulting through automated social selling on platforms like LinkedIn. In the last month I’ve closed over 5 figures worth of deals through this. This has been repeatedly used to scale countless B2B businesses to 5+ figures per month. Without sales you have no business. This is one of the most important aspects to keeping your business alive – by creating predictable income. This is a deep and tactical episode; grab a pen and pad cause you’ll need it. On this episode, you’ll learn: What Social Selling Is And The Do’s And Don’ts That’ll Make Or Break You My Three Part Sales Flow That Makes You Look Like An Expert Even If You Don’t Post A Ton Of Content The Exact Software I Use To Automate This Process From Start To Finish Listen to the full episode here:

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Impact Marketer #035 Overcoming Insecurity After Dropping Out Of College To Launch A Failing Ecommerce Business

In this “Talk Of The Day” episode of Impact Marketer, Rony shares his personal story of how he overcame massively failing my first real business. In his words, “I feel deep into a dark place where I doubted every move I made professionally and needed constant reassurance. I dropped out of college, lost a 5 year relationship, and failed two businesses at the same time. Oh I was also $10k in debt from one of the failed launches as well. I knew I could get out of it. But I didn’t believe or perceive that I could.” Listen to the full episode here

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